Director Cordray officially resigned as Director of the CFPB in November and later announced he would run for governor of Ohio. President Trump immediately named his budget director, Mick Mulvaney, as the Acting Director of the bureau. However, prior to resigning, Director Cordray named CFPB’s Chief of Staff, Leandra English, as the Acting Director causing the CFPB to have two Acting Directors. Cordray believed he had the authority to name an acting director under Dodd-Frank and while President Trump believed he had authority under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998. Both Mulvaney and English showed up for work that Monday.
Cue the court system…U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly upheld the Mulvaney appointment by citing the unprecedented nature of having a regulator—in this case, outgoing CFPB Director Richard Cordray—name his own successor rather than have the president fill the position.
On December 22, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia held oral arguments on Leandra English’s preliminary injunction motion through which she was seeking to block Mulvaney from continuing to serve as the Acting Director of the CFPB.
On January 10, 2018, District of Columbia District Judge Timothy J. Kelly denied Leandra English’s motion for a preliminary injunction to block the appointment of Mick Mulvaney as the CFPB’s Acting Director. The court held that English failed to satisfy any of the four elements of her preliminary injunction claim. The court also found that the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (FVRA) provides the president with the authority to appoint an acting head of the agency and that Mulvaney can stay Acting Director.
A permanent Director has yet to be named.